Heckelphone lookalike / FRI 5-29-15 / Steel brackets with two flanges / 1998 coming-of-age novel by Nick Hornby / Setting for hawthorne's marble faun / Ben who played wizard in wicked / First high priest of Israelites / Broadway chorus dancers informally / Arabian port home to Sinbad Island

Friday, May 29, 2015

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium or Brutal, depending

THEME: none

Word of the Day: EYE RHYMES (36A: Four-hour tour features?) —
eye rhyme
  1. a similarity between words in spelling but not in pronunciation, e.g., love and move. (google)
• • •

Wow, this did not end well for me. I have not come that close to not being able to finish an NYT puzzle in a long, long time. I can't remember how long. I was cruising along just fine—felt like a pretty normal Friday, difficulty-wise—and I was thinking, "well, it's not the greatest Patrick Berry puzzle I've ever done, but it's pretty good." So all was right with the world. And then, just as I was closing in on the finish line: disaster. Specifically, this:

Actually, when I took this picture, I had already gone forward and come back a few times. I actually had (the correct) GOT TO (34A: Really affected) and (the correct) HATCHES (37D: Sub entries) written in initially, but since I ended up utterly unable to solve any of the remaining answers with those answers in place, I pulled them. Now, as you can see, I should've (as I eventually did) pulled back even further. ASS is wrong. It's APE. And that's part of what is completely brutal about this little patch of answers there in the west-center. If you are familiar with the term EYE RHYMES, then there's a good chance that none of the surrounding stuff gives you any trouble. But if EYE RHYMES is an utter unknown to you (as it was to me—I've been teaching poetry for twenty years and cannot ever remember learning or seeing the term), then all those crosses become lethal. Cluing -SOME an "adjective-forming suffix"!? That's sadism. Cluing GYPSIES as "Broadway chorus dancers"? What? Why would you call them that? I can't even reconcile the image in my head when I see GYPSIES with the image in my head when I see "Broadway chorus dancers." Throw in the easy-to-mess-up APE/ASS issue, and you've got a near knockout punch.

[Busta Rhymes]

I honestly thought I was dead. EYER- couldn't be right … and yet there was no way around it. And EYERH- … that just looked like crazy talk. Weirdly, the *only* way I managed to pull out of it all was to imagine suffixes (staring with "S"?!?!?) that could make adjectives. I just stumbled into -SOME. Tested it … it worked with GOT TO … and then ASS became APE and I was done. The "?" clue on EYE RHYMES … that's the most obscure term in the grid (even if you don't think it's obscure, there's nothing in the grid that's obscurer), and you put a "?" on it? Talk about your Unsatisfying Experiences. How can I know how clever the "?" is if the term itself is meaningless to me?

But perhaps the moral of the story is: "don't give up" or "be patient" or "hang in there, baby." I was done for. I was so done for, I stopped to tweet about how done-for I was. But I waited the puzzle out and scratched and clawed my way up from an F to, like, a D. Good enough!
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    [Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]


    Dreisands 12:12 AM  

    TREVINO and VEREEN was a definite Natick for me. Ended up with TREMINO and MEREEN; the latter probably seemed right due to Game of Thrones.

    Z 12:12 AM  

    Me at the end, "What ARE EYER HYMES."

    I did learn about The Great Vowel Shift. I wonder if the prescriptivists know about the GVS.

    I would assume the annual concert at Stonehenge is heavily into Rock.

    Whirred Whacks 12:18 AM  

    Over the past year, I've become a big fan of Patrick Berry's work. For some reason, I'm able to get on his wavelength, and really enjoy the experience. Today was no exception. Thanks PB!

    Earlier in the week, one of the commenters here (sorry, I don't remember who) mentioned doing the May 23, 2015 WSJ Cryptic by Patrick Berry. I decided to give it a try.

    Here is the link to Patrick Berry's "Chatter Boxes" in the Wall Street Journal.

    I played with it for a while, and realized that I need to significantly upgrade my Cryptic skills. It was only when I looked at the puzzle's answers did I begin to grasp PB's construction skills.

    Here is the answer of PB's "Chatter Boxes." This is mind-blowingly cool! What artistry! What fun colors.

    By the way, I also enjoyed Jeff Chen's alternation puzzle from yesterday.

    RAD2626 12:38 AM  

    I consider it a real sign of progress on my part that I stared at those same blank squares for what seemed like forever with the rest of the puzzle completed in record Fruday time for me. Even after I got HATCHES and GOT TO I wondered why they called Broadway chorus dancers GasSIES? Very unlike Patrick Berry who has hard clues but normal words. The real brute, I agree with Rex was SOME, which just couldn't be figured out by running the alphabet.

    Another terrific Berry puzzle those few squares notwithstanding.

    Anonymous 12:38 AM  

    Just today I passed by a clothing store and I couldn't tell if the objects in the window were mannequins or EYEMIMES.

    John Child 12:42 AM  

    Rex's grid photo is exactly where I crashed and burned. But it's a fine themless puzzle with repeated "What? What? What? Oh, of course!" experiences that are typical of Mr Berry's work, and I learned two new things.

    GYPSIES made me think of Gypsie Rose Lee, so I looked her up. It was 10 minutes well spent.

    okanaganer 12:47 AM  

    I rarely comment lately, but I just have to say how much I appreciate the complete lack of abbreviations today. And so few 3 letter words! And no lame answers! And Eye Rhymes. What a nice puzzle. Thanks, P.B.!

    MDMA 12:47 AM  

    Pretty brutal for me, but solved it in the end. First pass yielded little more than ARGON and ANTON. Had the same blanks as Rex in the center, except the H of HATCHES was firmly locked in, however at that stage I also had nearly the whole west and northwest blank as well.

    Stared at the bogus 27D S__s until the ASS to APE transition gave -SOME. GOT TO provided the cross for GYPSIES, and then ____HYMES had to be ___RHYMES, which seemed to fit the clue somehow (non-RHYMES, I wondered?).

    That solved the center but provided no foothold for the west and northwest. The only other foothold there was TRADE ON, but I had trouble believing that since the clue seemed a bit off, and likewise for its cross DUE. The clue for SUES was also weird, and SEES AFTER just sounds unnatural. Is it just me, or was the cluing really harsh in that section?

    At least BAGFUL and ABATE were sort of straightforward, providing enough crosses to flash onto ABOUT A BOY and suggest _____GAME and ____AFTER. Replaced 1D artS with TOYS and staggered across the finish line a bit later.

    Grueling, but all's well that ends well.

    MDMA 1:00 AM  


    Among all the commenters here, we could probably compile a long list of bogus initial stabs at 34D GYPSIES.

    I first tried 34A baTTy and poTTy (for "Really affected"), and so 34D besSIES ??? (crossing Ass) and poPSIES ??? (crossing APE), before the TREVINO cross finally put me on the right track.

    jae 2:24 AM  

    Very easy Fri. for me except for everything that Rex said about  EYE RHYMES/ GYPSIES/ HATCHES/AT BATS/SOME.   I finished just fine when I sussed it had to be EYE RHYMES but held off posting until I could figure out why (think a Matt Gaffney 3rd week meta).  Finally gave up and came here to find out there was no meta, just a WOE. 

    THE HEAT may be Melissa McCarthy's best movie. 

    Liked it a lot.  Plenty of zip and über smooth, but then it's PB.

    chefwen 3:09 AM  

    Thought it was a typical Patrick Berry puzzle that was clever and not overly difficult until I landed in the southwest. Holy Moly, what the hell is EYE RHIMES? GYPSIES, had no clue. Enjoyed it except for the last 15 minutes. I liked it a lot better than Thursdays head scratcher.

    Keep them coming Patrick.

    paulsfo 3:32 AM  

    I finally figured out what EYERHYMES was after getting it via crosses. Hadn't heard of that meaning for GYPSIES but it made sense.
    But DNF because of SW.

    Thought there were at least five clever clues; a few were very clever. I enjoyed the puzzle quite a bit.

    Loren Muse Smith 4:08 AM  

    @Z – Really great e-quip about Stonehenge and rock music. Very clever. Glad you read about The Great Vowel Movement. You know what I always say about prescriptivists – well, you'll know now– you can always tell a prescriptivist… you just can't tell him much. (Just to twist the knife, I think I'll amend it to "…you can't tell them much.")

    Wow – my stumbling block was exactly where everyone else's was – "ass" completely messed it all up forever, and I felt as dumb as a heckelphone. (What mental giant named *that* instrument? Hey. We need some mood music – let me put on Vivaldi's Heckelphone Concerto in C Major.

    So many wrong turns:

    "bushel" for BAGFUL – If I could buy grapefruit by the bushel, I would.
    "closes" for ZEROES
    "twin" for ODIN. Hey, "Ynglinga" looks kinda Chinesesome.
    "chasm" for GORGE. (BTW – I think there's a sarchasm between Rex's "snark" and the people who miss it.)
    "roar" for CLAP. Sheesh. Could we all just agree what thunder sounds like?

    Anyone notice PENNE crossing ANTE?

    Of course, though, my mind was derailed at the sight of "four hour tour." I. Stopped. Solving. And marveled. Never heard of EYE RHYME, but it didn't matter. Those three words floored me the minute I saw them. It was very early, and I was wondering if the answer indeed had to do with the three pronunciations of "ou." How have I missed this term all my life? (Maybe because I avoid poetry about as enthusiastically as I avoid HEALTH FOOD. I want my mac and cheese that ghastly nuclear orange color, thank you very much.)

    Now I sit here wondering how I can relate a story without seeming all name-dropsome and braggy, but, heck. My very first published puzzle (CHE) was edited (in essence co-constructed because he's a peach and I'm a goober) by Patrick Berry, and its inception was a fascination with what I had always secretly called "visual alliteration." (Crunchy chocolate cereal, whole-wheat wrap…) I ran the phenomenon of PRETTY PNEUMATIC PSYCHOTIC PHILANTHROPIC PTERODACTYL by him. He PB'd the idea all up nice and pretty and held my hand through the whole process.

    So the idea of an EYE RHYME is right up my alley, and this will consume me for days now. Did Patrick INTEND it, or was it BY ACCIDENT that there are other EYE RHYMEs in the grid: FOOD and HOOD, ROME and SOME, DONE and ZONE. Aw man, the ozone's done gone.

    Could "Luna" be a good name for a moth mother? Is bouillon a broth brother? Oh, bother. I can't stop this.

    Hey! We could extend it to EYE assonance: The lone worm would love to move off on foot.

    Patrick, well, SAINTHOOD is what I'm sayin'. (Turn up the volume if you watch this clip.)

    Anonymous 4:33 AM  

    Interesting you didn't know eye rhyme considering your vocation. That it caused your hang-up highlights how important a knowledge base can be to solving--an inescapable but major defect with crosswords IMHO.

    I'm a robot that loves sandwiches.

    SteampunkSpider 5:35 AM  

    I had trouble in the same spot, although I had some right off the bat. It didn't help me suss out gypsies.18623 I've never heard of eye rhyme either and it makes me feel squicky for some reason.

    Jim Walker 5:49 AM  

    I would have gone APE over this puzzle but I made an Ass of myself thinking about all those GusSSIES wearing sequined EYERHumES.

    PB beat me fair and square and @Loren made me feel a lot better about it.

    Carola 5:51 AM  

    Yeah, me, too, for ASS. I erased it when an S??S suffix seemed too improbable and then suddenly remembered GYPSIES. EYE RHYMES got an uncomprehending "Okay, if you say so," so thank you to Rex for explaining. Besides ASS, I also had to correct HEArTy FOOD and the would-not-fit Glyndbourne.

    Hard to get traction on this one. I began with NO ONE but VEREEN in the top half; only at HIHO x ODIN x EDEN did answers begin to accrete. However, once I GOT TO SAINTHOOD, the trail went cold and I had to POKE around the grid for soft spots. Very fun to get it all figured out.

    Unknown 6:15 AM  

    As I struggled the "four-hour tour" clue, I kept hearing the "three hour tour" tune from Gilligan's Island in my head - not a helpful earworm! Has anyone yet explained what GYPSIES means in relation to the clue?

    Unknown 6:17 AM  

    Also, @Loren's "the ozone's done gone" is hilarious!

    Muscato 6:54 AM  

    This is one - and I have to admit I always love them - of those puzzles that remind us that it's very specifically the New York Times crossword. Meaning that if you're a stereotypical Manhattanite sitting there polishing off the puzzle in your local deli, with the traffic whizzing by up the avenue, things like GYPSY and VEREEN (and DELI, for that atter) are gimmes.

    That said, I got hung up for a minute on what looks like a Heckelphone; my first guess was TUBA...

    Mohair Sam 7:10 AM  

    Very pleasing and easy (yes, easy) PB for us this Friday, must be on his wavelength.

    Worked from the bottom up so had the SIES for the infamous GYPSIES and remembered that Gypsy Rose Lee is the most famous Broadway hoofer ever, and she started on the chorus line - hence GYPSIES seemed likely. Never heard of EYE RHYMES either, but RHYMES had filled and we noted that the three words looked the same but didn't sound the same, so we chanced EYE and were rewarded.

    Tip of the cap to @lms and her "ozone's done gone", loved it.

    @Muscatto - Good catch on the Manhattan relativity here - surprised GYPSIES wasn't a gimme for many.

    Great Friday Patrick Berry, thanks.

    ThatcherBHatcher 7:18 AM  

    Fastest Friday ever for us. Just laid right out. Had ROAR for CLAP until CHISEL cut us a new answer. In general, we experienced this puzzle as a series of quick, mostly correct (or easily correctible) guesses alternating with more challenging areas that fell quickly due to useful crossers. At the end, EYERHYMES came as a pleasurable "aha" to this former English Lit teacher and led to GYPSIES as the only plausible answer for an otherwise unanswerable bit. A nice solving experience and a very respectable puzzle.

    Unknown 7:22 AM  

    Broadway dancers call themselves GYPSIES because they are a small, insular band of people who migrate from show to show, and who have little in common with other performers -- let alone the audience -- due to the physical rigor and utter dedication required by their craft. The musical "Chorus Line" is a love letter to these people. It was based on dozens of interviews with Broadway GYPSIES, whose experiences Michael Beckett distilled into the show.

    Sir Hillary 7:25 AM  

    Yeah, same as many others. Ass for APE, and never heard of EYERHYMES. Lots of fun in this one -- cluing felt harder than most PB Fridays. As usual with him, fill is squeaky-clean. Remarkable.

    Interesting that ATRAIN appeared Wednesday and also in one of yesterday's themers. LENTO was also in one of yesterday's themers, and here it is again today.

    Name that tune 7:28 AM  

    Well now I will just lie and see if anyone notices. Because at least twice in the past few months I have admitted to a DNF, but I will claim today is the day I almost didn't finish a puzzle in a very long time.
    Oh, and I heart Patrick Berry.

    Rhino 7:32 AM  

    I knew TREVINO from Happy Gilmore.

    But, 4:33anonymous, I think that is part of the pleasure of crosswords and not a defect.

    Rhino 7:37 AM  

    I also liked that the puzzle had (arguably) the three big sins:

    AARON built the golden calf.
    JUDAS betrayed Jesus.
    In EDEN, they ate the fruit.

    Anonymous 7:45 AM  

    @Rex Porker

    Have you started to drive by Rex Parker's house yet?

    dph 7:51 AM  

    Had the same solving experience, but instead of not knowing eye rhymes, I felt that Ted Wright, poetics professor extraordinaire from back in the day at Minnesota, would be ashamed of me for not seeing it instantly!

    Hartley70 7:52 AM  

    @MichaelFuchs, I think you got autocorrected on Michael "Beckett". You need some N's in there! Gypsies, Deli, and Vereen were all gimmes for me even though I left Manhattan 30 years ago, gone but not forgotten @Muscato. This was a classic in the best possible way. It took some patience but I finished with no "write overs" or cheats. The SW was the hardest spot. I had never heard of EYERHYMES, but I love it. It was a perfect Patrick Berry Friday for me.

    Mohair Sam 7:54 AM  

    @Michael Fuchs - Thanks for the GYPSIES explanation, good stuff. So we got the answer right for the wrong reason (thought GYPSy Rose Lee), but we'll take it.

    Anonymous 7:58 AM  

    Thank you for this response. As a Manhattanite and Broadway play goer I was stunned to see how many people had never heard the term gypsies for Bway dancers. Nothing at all to do with Gypsy Rose Lee who probably never "danced" on Bway.

    Glimmerglass 8:04 AM  

    For me, this was a typical Patrick Berry experience. First, I can't find a toehold anywhere. Then I do (this time in the SE). Then, working from there, I get a lot of the puzzle solved, but I get stumped and I'm sure I'm not going to be able to finish. The, some little tumbler in the back of my mind clicks into place and I'm done and feeling really good about myself. The end-product is that PB makes me feel really good about myself. And not because his puzzles are easy -- it's because they are hard. I had a similar experience to Rex's with this one. For a time, my dancers were taPSIES. Like Rex, I finally came to -SOME, and then I dimly recalled that there "used to be" something called an EYE RHYME. GYPSIES seemed reasonable, and I was done.

    pauer 8:06 AM  

    GYPSIES was a gimme for this Broadway baby. The reference that came to mind first was the Gypsy Robe, a garment passed down upon the opening of each Broadway show with a chorus. More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_Robe

    Hartley70 8:08 AM  

    @Anonymous 4:33. That tricky old "knowledge base" is mighty useful for many endeavors. I can't really think of it as a weakness. You aren't this week's Jeopardy champ, are you? He's a tad robotic and loves sandwiches also, as opposed to last week's fellow who enjoyed dressing cats in little outfits. My base gets broader every day, whether I want it to or not!

    Aketi 8:09 AM  

    @ robot checker, seriously? Three hamburgers? 8 days til my black belt test and you couldn't offer me some HEALTH FOOD? Or at least some steak.

    Having managed to avoid taking all but the absolutely required English classes as someone who found discussions about "literature" sucked all the joy out of the books I enjoyed reading before I was illuminated as to their flaws, I had no clue what EYERHYMES meant. I merely guessed that the only word that started with RH and ended with ES was RHYMES. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I figured that someone here would explain it in a way that I might understand... Or not. The eight Buffalos are still elusive, like reading about chaos theory, I think I get it but then I don't. I'm having a slow morning, so I had to go back to the clue itself before I had my AHA for the EYERHYMES..

    As for the Zeke KERFUFFLE, I'm with Nancy on the apparent sincerity of Abigail. I'm sure no one here sent money to her so the Brooklyn Bridge/Nigerian scam analogies are absurd. In my other blogosphere, I have met many online presences who became actual friends that I have met at conferences and even had stay in my home. There is nothing wrong wth expressing empathy when there is a loss or a disaster and one should not need to have to employ cyber PIs before expressing a simple normal human reaction. What is not normal is the level of meanest that has escalated over the last two days. Its actually rather pathetic. About the level of the guy who is now banned from sparring in our dojo. He came in full of himself because he had a black belt in another discipline. He bragged about how he was holding back because he might hurt us. Meanwhile he may have had technically beautiful kicks but no fighting strategy. His kicks were so slow that I could catch his leg and land a cross to his chest every single time. He went from annoying to dangerous, however, when he violated a basic rule that you don't kick hard to the head. He axe kicked three of the young teens dropping his heel straight down on their heads. It is a move that can paralyze or kill someone. He is now a pariah at our dojo and is probably clueless as to why no one talks to him.

    Off to run in Central Park before it gets too hot.

    Hartley70 8:20 AM  

    Gee @Aketi, you like to live dangerously. If you bump into our petite Nancy in the park this morning, try and do it gently!

    joho 8:23 AM  

    Oh, how I love Patrick Berry's puzzles whether I finish or not. Today was an "or not" due to my Ass. Not to mention I actually considered fosSIES for GYPSIES thinking of Bob Fosse. Which is nuts because I know the term GYPSIES, just not today. SOME was cruel, I agree. But learning EYERHYMES was the best thing about this puzzle.

    Some cute pairings: POKERGAME/UPSTHEANTE, ATBATS with HORSEHIDE covered balls and PENNE/ORZO.

    Lots of ZZZZ today, too, very nice.

    Beautifully done as usual, Mr. Berry, you do not need to hone your skills!

    Charles Flaster 8:32 AM  

    Fun EZ and smooth construction. EYERHYMES was last to be entered but overcame APE/Ass rather easily.
    Writeovers-- ZEROES for closES, hello @LMS, and
    GYPSIES for GusSIES.
    Liked Kluing for TAPS, HORSEHIDE and POKER GAME. The opening poker scene in "Odd Couple" has some of the finest comedic lines of all time (especially the Florida quip).
    BTW-- I ordered some LENTO soup yesterday at my favorite Italian restaurant.
    Thanks(as usual) PB.

    AliasZ 8:34 AM  

    I loved this puzzle, especially EYE RHYME, although rough to plough through in places. I too was an Ass before an APE, but now I am all ABUZZ for having finished, no AT BATS, no runs, no hits, no errors. This one had a BAGFUL of great words and phrases, HORSE HIDE, IN RARE FORM, and UPS THE ANTE were my favorites.

    If your POKER GAME opponent ups his ante, up yours.

    I noticed a few concept pairings : POKER GAME / UPS THE ANTE; INTEND / BY ACCIDENT (as previously pointed out by @LMS); ORZO / PENNE; HATCHES / PLAN; HEALTH FOOD / DELI; HORSE HIDE / AT BATS; TONGA / TOYS (or is that Tonka TOYS?), etc. Is there an echo in this room?

    @LMS, what could be better than Vivaldi's Heckelphone Concerto in C major? Vivaldi's Two-Heckelphone Concerto in C major.

    While it is true that a nocturne is often played LENTO, it is also true that not all pieces played LENTO are nocturnes.

    Thank HRH PB the First for an utterly enjoyable solve.


    Z 8:34 AM  

    Hand up for ASS GUSSIES.

    @LMS - I looked up "heckelphone." My advice is if your last name is a homonym with a verb that means "to make fun of," don't name your musical creation after yourself.

    I'm guessing the EYE RHYMES @LMS pointed out were intentional. That makes this a themed themeless and yesterday's a themeless themed. I preferred today's puzzle.

    I wonder if the Stone Temple Pilots are playing this year? Maybe with some classic Punk to open. I'm guessing The Circle Jerks would fit right in. The Talking Heads will be playing the sister concert on Easter Island.

    Unknown 8:36 AM  

    Exactly right, @Hartley70. Shade of Michael Bennett, please forgive me.

    @pauer, absolutely re the Gypsy Robe. Here's another cool piece on that tradition, from the Equity website: https://www.actorsequity.org/aboutequity/GypsyRobe/gypsyrobehome.asp

    Generic Solver 8:38 AM  

    Sometimes whether a puzzle is brutal or not seems to come down to the random order in which you happen to solve. By the time it got to EYER___ES, I was confident about GOT TO, so SOME was looking good too. At that point EYER__MES was doable, as HATCHES was the answer regardless of APE/ASS. And GYPSIES essentially fell in at the same time with EYE RHYMES by running the alphabet to get the "y".

    Nancy 8:46 AM  

    I loved EYE RHYMES, loved both the cluing and the answer, and raced here to say how hard it was to see and how much it slowed me down in the SW, only to come here and find that absolutely everyone here, including Rex, had said it first. I'm grateful for that clue, in that it made a much-too-easy-for-a-Friday puzzle that much less easy for me. I'm truly surprised at how hard others found it and the number who DNF. But then there are all those puzzles that others here rate "Easy" and that I can't finish. That's what makes this blog so interesting. Guess this one was "in my wheelhouse," as the expression goes. Although I did make one early mistake: I had THE HELP instead of THE HEAT at 9D, which kept me from seeing SAINTHOOD for a while.

    I seldom look at a constructor's name -- it's just not a habit I ever acquired and I never think to do it. So I only realized it was PB of puzzle SAINTHOOD fame until I came here. But I see why people love him: There's just no junk at all and the fill is lively and colloquial.

    It was over too soon. Now I wish I had yesterday's wonderfully inventive challenge to do all over again. Since I don't, I may, like @Aketi, head out to Central Park before it gets too hot. I wonder where she's doing her run? Never mind, she's probably finished already and back at the dojo.

    Dorothy Biggs 8:57 AM  

    This was "in my wheelhouse" or at least two key answers that I happened to know helped me finish with relative ease: VEREEN and GYPSIES. Broadway stuff. I knew Ben Vereen from 70s television and I also knew he is a big Broadway star...so Ben with a name that starts with "V" was sort of a gimme. It took be a few seconds on "GYPSIES" but I'd somehow heard this term in the past (along with a recent xword answer "hoofer") and once I got it, my Ass went to APE (!) and like Rex, it fell into place from there.

    EYERHYMES did cause me to groan. Out loud. And even when I got it, trying to parse it took a few seconds as well...I just couldn't "see" it. Then, I saw it.

    ZBARS sounds like a New York DELI...ZaBARS.

    I'm not sure of the definition of "green paint," but OZONEHOLE seems dangerously close to being not quite something. There is, indeed, a hole in the ozone...but I seem to have only heard described as "The Hole In The Ozone," not an ozone hole.

    Not a bad time for me for a Friday. No Googling needed or other cheats, so I'd have to call it "easy."

    dk 9:02 AM  

    🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

    Nice one Mr. Berry.

    Serendipity rules. The other day a conversation led to Gypsy Rose Lee and old Broadway/Times Square. Someone opined: "Yeah GYPSIES that was a slang term for chorus dancers not to be confused hoofers who are tap/vaudeville dancers."

    Only got EYERHYME in the crosses and even after I looked it up it took some time to figure out how it applied.

    Agree with the just hang in there (insert annoying cat poster about here) advice from our dear leader. Sometimes I will just put the puzzle down and when I come back so has my brain.

    Off to get a trailer hitch installed as that is what we do in Western WI.

    dk 9:03 AM  

    confused with

    Shih tzu 9:24 AM  

    I guess The Fuchs Group isn't too worried about EYERHYMES...

    Anonymous 9:25 AM  

    Loren Muse Smith: Queen of the HUMBLEBRAG.

    elitza 9:26 AM  

    Haven't gotten that close to a DNF in a long, long, LONG time. Same place as Rex, and I just could not parse it out.

    ArtO 9:34 AM  

    Love to see Patrick Berry on Friday as it means I have a chance. And I did until the exact same problem as @Rex. So, I'll be happy to take a DNF on that basis.

    chefbea 9:39 AM  

    Fridays are usually too tough for me so I don't even try to do them but I figured with all the food stuff I should make an attempt...but I didn't get too far. Going to make three bean salad today...no orzo in it. Had kale last night from our garden yummmm

    mathguy 9:52 AM  

    @Loren Muse Smith: I just read the Wikipedia article on the great "Vowel Movement." Was unaware if it. Thanks. Actually, everything in your note was excellent including your additional eye rhymes.

    @Whirred Whacks: Happy you enjoyed the Patrick Berry in the WSJ.

    After wondering yesterday whether Rex and I are living in parallel universes (he didn't like the Jeff Chen puzzle), it was reassuring that he had the same hang up that I had.

    jrstocker 9:53 AM  

    My grid was almost identical to what Rex had. I had his exact screen shot within 10 minutes, and stared at it for another 10 before throwing my hands up and throwing in the towel.

    Perhaps I'll take your advice next time. Just let it breathe for a minute. Maybe stand up and refill my coffee, and take another go...it's really frustrating to roll through that quickly and get stonewalled that close to the finish line.

    Anonymous 9:53 AM  

    First time commenter, but I read BLOG every day. Easiest Friday in a long time... like Wednesday easy. But the reason I had to chime in. WOW Rex! Never heard of eye rhyme? How is that possible? Teaching poetry for twenty years? Are you sure? I teach high school English; we spend a few weeks on poetry. Can't imagine how you could avoid coming across this term. My only issue is, why use that example? tour and four are an actual rhyme, if you're going for eye rhyme with three words, do something like "here there were" -- why throw in an unnecessary true rhyme? Or just use "hour tour."

    Rhino 10:01 AM  

    @Anonymous 953 - where do you live that tour and four rhyme? (Serious, not snarky question)

    oldbizmark 10:03 AM  

    easy peasy mac and cheesy... of course, except for that natick of (V)EREEEN/TRE(V)INO (although, I realized now that I should have known Lee Travino of Happy Gilmore fame).

    Good Friday fun. Always love being able to (mostly) finish a Friday puzzle so quickly. Started in the SE and worked my way up. Besides the natick, the only hiccup was the SW corner, which with ATBATS was last to be filled. Patrick Berry is okay in my book.

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:12 AM  

    Mighty fine puzzle, if a bit too Easy, as evidenced by the fact that I finished breakfast before I finished the puzzle, which is extremely rare for me on a Friday or Saturday.

    Was sailing along so well that I was lulled into one write-over, CLOSES IN ON before ZEROES IN ON.

    Anonymous 10:13 AM  

    A lot of Jew in this puzzle--AARON, Judas, ZaBARS, DELI, Jack Klugman's Oscar Madison.

    Anonymous 10:14 AM  

    If Sternberg had used EYERHYME, Rex would have scolded him for trying to be too hip. Just sayin'.

    Anonymous 10:16 AM  

    @Rhino 10:01: Where do you live that "tour" and "four" DON'T rhyme?

    dick swart 10:16 AM  


    There is an annual Gypsy of the Year Award that raises funds to combat AIDS and other diseases. 'Gypsy is not an unknown term for show dancer.

    However, 'eyerhyme' …

    Aaarghhh, DNF exactly as described.

    Anonymous 10:19 AM  

    Dear Rhino,
    I live in America. I have taught high school English on both coasts. Where do the people live who could possibly pronounce "tour" and "four" without them rhyming? Tonga? No offense to Tonga, just never been there. Been all over America, and heard the words "four" and "tour" in lots of places. I can't even figure which one you're pronouncing wrong. Do you say "tower" for tour? For real, please explain your comment phonetically to me.

    Anonymous 10:30 AM  

    I read a lot and I am fairly well-educated but in all my seven plus decades I never before came across the term "eye rhymes". But what a great, descriptive term it is. I'll be looking for excuses to use it.

    quilter1 10:36 AM  

    Finished despite not knowing EYE RHYME, but with staring at the clue came up with it. As usual Mr. Berry gives great puzzle satisfaction.

    Unknown 10:46 AM  

    Where I grew up (New York City) tour is pronounced "toor," not "tore."

    We also said "hoor" for whore....

    Unknown 10:47 AM  

    Just wanted to point out that the clue "tool with a bezel" is incorrect. Chisels don't generally have bezels (a rim), they have have bevels (two angles that meet at other than 90 degrees).

    Rhino 10:53 AM  

    tour rhymes with sewer.
    four rhymes with bore.

    "can't even figure which one you're pronouncing wrong."
    This is why we can't have nice things.

    You Can Find Anything Online 10:53 AM  

    @Wayne Saville -

    Bevel vs. Bezel

    Hartley70 10:59 AM  

    @Anonymous, I hope I don't step on @Rhino's toes, but your comment made me scream "what?!". Noooo they do NOT rhyme! (In the Northeast at least) FOUR rhymes with oar, pore and sore. TOUR is pronounced a la francais, as in cycling's Tour de France, close to cure, endure, pure, "The Captain and Mrs. Muir" if you're old enough to remember that goodie. It must be a regional thing. Thank goodness television hasn't totally homogenized us!

    Nancy 11:00 AM  

    @Rhino -- Your question wasn't at all snarky. I was wondering the exact same thing. But, unlike you, I rhyme tour with poor, not with sewer. Like you, I rhyme four with bore. (I live in NYC and have lived here my whole life).

    Anonymous 11:00 AM  

    Not Patrick Berry's finest moment.

    demit 11:01 AM  

    And then there's four as in "faw," as Capt Picard would say it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_eSwq1ewsU

    Nancy 11:06 AM  

    @Hartley -- We were typing at the same time, else I would have said that I don't rhyme tour with cure anymore than I rhyme it with sewer. I pronounce cure "kyure", whereas I don't pronounce tour "tyure". Is it a potato/potahto thing, I wonder?

    Ludyjynn 11:06 AM  

    GYPSIES immediately calls to mind the Tony Award winning Comden & Green B-Way musical, "Applause", which ran from 1970-72 and starred Tony Award winning Lauren Bacall. Based upon the movie, "All About Eve", it also featured Bonnie Franklin (who later starred in "one Day at a Time" on tv) as the lead 'gypsy', or chorus dancer, who nomadically roamed from show to show. Saw this production on a h.s. class trip and have never forgotten the experience.

    Patrick Berry, you are the man. Your work is so beautifully executed. What looks challenging at the start invariably opens itself up to be solved like a flower bud exploding in the sun. Started in the SE and ended in the NW and thoroughly enjoyed the one hour tour. You should be nominated for x-word SAINTHOOD, IMO. And that is no YOKE.

    Rhino 11:10 AM  

    @Nancy - It's funny, I'm from Minnesota, and here 'poor' rhymes better with 'four'.
    'Sewer' isn't exactly right as a rhyme for 'tour'. 'Endure', as @Hartley70 said, works better.

    forefourall 11:10 AM  

    Is there an audible example on the internet someone can point me to that gives examples of these pronunciations? 2 syllable "tour" seems ridiculous to me, but for the life of me I can't parse the difference between the vowels in "poor" and "bore" to which multiple commenters have pointed. So when @Nancy says she rhymes "tour with pour" and "four with bore," this does not compute. To me, all four words are pronounced exactly the same. Do people pronounce "fore" and "four" differently?
    Much appreciated.

    Masked and Anonymo3Us 11:25 AM  

    day-um, what a pusillanimous, runty collection of weejects. U can list em on one hand:
    Pathetic. Not an ounce of desperation, anywhere in that anemic lineup. "Very sad turnout", indeed, 11-D. Have U no shame, PB1? We need us some shame...
    (gurgle. sputter.)

    Congrats to the ZBARS, on their debut. Top ?BARS that have not got to raise the bar yet in the NYTPuz, with likely to suckcede clues:
    * BBARS - {Two Bbig bbuxom Bbridget Bbardots walk into a coupla ___ ...}
    * XBARS - {Former trick or treat bag items??}
    * OBARS - {Lines through tic tac toe winners}
    * UBARS - {Limits of three or less, for PB1 puzs, perhaps??}
    * QBARS - {BBQ pub joints that have picked all the buckshot out of their beef??}

    Best of show: EYERHYMES. Better clue, for m&e and @63, at least: {High pie dye features?}


    wreck 11:28 AM  

    I guess I'm the crazy one (not the first time!), but I thought this new term I learned "EYE RHYME" meant that it LOOKS like a rhyme to the eye, but not necessarily phonetically. TOUR = FOUR, WERE = HERE but not something like BEAR and LAIR.

    Oh well, I had the same hang-up that most everyone else had.

    Steve M 11:34 AM  

    ez except eyerhyme

    Anonymous 11:36 AM  

    I agree no way does a CHISEL have a bezel (though my watch does), despite the link provided by Wayne (the link doesn't cite how it came up with definition and is completely unsupported everywhere else). Tying a bezel to a chisel is obscure to the point of ludicrous. If you wanted to obscure CHISEL pick any one of the following:

    beat, bilk, bleed, cheat, fleece, chouse, con, cozen, defraud, diddle, do, do in, euchre, fiddle, flimflam, gaff, gyp, hose [slang], hustle, mulct, nobble [British slang], pluck, ream, rip off, rook, screw, shake down, short, shortchange, skin, skunk, squeeze, stick, stiff, sting, sucker, swindle, thimblerig, victimize

    I pick ROOK. When in doubt go with British slang Patrick Berry you WANKER for such a DODGY clue.

    Anonymous 11:42 AM  


    the diagonal face at the end of the blade of a chisel, or the like, leading to the edge.
    that part of a ring, bracelet, etc., to which gems are attached.
    crown (def 27).
    a grooved ring or rim holding a gem, watch crystal, etc., in its setting.
    Automotive. the part of a vehicle's bodywork that surrounds a light.

    Z 11:46 AM  

    To answer @Rhino and @anonymous - America. Include me in the two syllable pronunciation of "tour," although the second syllable is subtle, unlike "dour" which I hear as rhyming with "tower.". Four sounds like for, core, pore, tore, ore, more, Moore sometimes, but not anything like "tour." Great Vowel Movement indeed.

    @Wayne Saville - you're right about jewelry, but not CHISELs.

    @you can find... - And you can share what you find without being insulting.

    @LMS - Remember, others' jealousy is their problem.

    @wreck - I agree with you.

    EYE RHYMES have to do with "not poetry," not "poetry," so I hardly find it surprising that people who teach "poetry" aren't familiar with the term. Now, why can't I fit one more negative in that sentence?

    Metallica wanted to play at STONEHENGE, but were rejected.

    wreck 11:50 AM  

    .... as were the Plastic Ono Band.

    demit 11:59 AM  

    I have always known dour to be pronounced like tour, not tower. Maybe it's the Scots in me.

    MDMA 12:00 PM  


    Nancy rhymed tour with poor, not with pore

    boor moor poor spoor tour... for me anyway.

    Grace 12:00 PM  

    I thought it was a rather easy puzzle - I got eye rhymes from the down clues - since it fit, it stayed and puzzle was declared completed. Didn't eve bother to look up the meaning.

    Sallie (FullTime-Life) 12:02 PM  

    The first Friday puzzle I've finished in a long time without googling and/or a lot of scratch outs. (Old school pen and paper solver). Loved it!

    MDMA 12:04 PM  

    Maps of dialect differences in America

    Whirred Whacks 12:11 PM  


    Thanks for the Patrick Berry WSJ puzzle reference!

    jberg 12:15 PM  

    Tough and great. Like everyone else, I got EYE RHYMES last-- but such an Aha! experience as you look back at the clue and suddenly realize that it means! As for APE and ass, I have to say that an oaf is an APE, but not necessarily an ass, so that saved me.

    My real problem was not remembering who Oscar Madison was, so thinking that he might host a TV show called the "mOnEy GAME" weekly. That made me change TAPS to a call to put on one's jAmS. I don't know E-Bay categories, so that was no help. What saved me was 17A, but it took a long time.The only other problem, except for the end, was misplacing the Z and putting in ziti fefore ORZO. And misremembering Lee TREVIsO.

    Is EYE RHYMES really a literary term, rather than some contemporary thing like 'ear worm?' It only works for very modern poetry, meant to be seen on the page rather than heard. But what do I know?

    Loren Muse Smith 12:20 PM  

    @Z - thanks, but I totally deserved that. Mea culpa.

    MDMA 12:22 PM  

    More maps of dialect differences (a set of clickable links)

    You can take the survey yourself here, but they require a bunch of personal information including your real name, email and location.

    old timer 12:27 PM  

    I googled a lot today. Never heard of Gypsies as dancers (I wanted "hoofers" but no luck there). Never heard of the Marble Faun. Guessed right with ODIN so the SE was the first corner to fall. In the SW I too wanted "closes in on". And "ibars" or "tbars" -- only got ZBARS because ABUZZ had to be right. I don't think I've ever heard if that kind of bar, though.

    Best and funniest answer: the one thing Judas never achieved. True, that -- all the other apostles are saints.

    I am agog that OFL has never heard of EYERHYMES. I learned the term in high school, for goodness' sake. Though it took BARE and ABOUTABOY to get it. Well done, Mr. Berry.

    Anonymous 12:33 PM  

    Tour: noun \ˈtu̇r, 1 is also ˈtau̇(-ə)r\
    Four: noun \fȯr\

    Lewis 12:46 PM  

    @lms -- Great post! Love your wit.

    So now we all know what an EYERHYME is. Thank you for that gift, PB! And for another smiling-all-the-way-through solving experience.

    As always with PB, the solution is squeaky clean but not sterile, because it holds a lot of interest. Wonderful clues on YOKE, ATBATS, DELI, ADMEN, and ATE, and I loved the answers INRAREFORM, UPSTHEANTE, and ABUZZ. I'm absolutely with Rex's last paragraph -- I was so tempted to check or Google, but I hung in there, left and came back, and got the solve with no help, and what a good feeling that is.

    Mini theme: OBOE, HIHO, ORZO, TREVINO (unless people in other parts of the country pronounce these words differently). It's our second day in a row for the CLAP. I don't understand "Take advantage of" for TRADEON -- can someone explain this one please?

    Aketi 1:00 PM  

    @Nancy, I bet you made it to the Park before I did. Running is my most hated form of exercise so the pace I set for getting myself out the door and into the park is slower than LENTO, maybe even slower than SNAILS with teeth. There is no AHA for me when I run, it is more like an OZONE HOLE that sucks all the energy out of me. Well actually probably more like a black hole since the ozone is a protective layer and not a mass attractor. The fact that marathoners can actually run for hours UPS THE ANTE on my training regime by a teensy weensy bit. I did manage to convince myself to run around the reservoir 2 times instead of 1 time on Sunday and Monday. Nevertheless, I find the thought that marathoners seem to enjoy the activity to be completely INSANE. I was so DONE with the second lap by Tuesday. I was ready to CLAP when my instructors said I could back off the running because sparring is more aerobic.

    @Harley70 I try to avoid "bumping" into people entirely unless its BY ACCIDENT or they are determined to smash me against subway poles. I doubt Nancy is shorter than I am at five feet zero inches standing as straight as I possibly can. I usually reserve the "offensive opportunity" of using my elbow framing against the subway pole for those who have at least smashed me again the pole once. In each instance, they were taller and heavier than I am. All other forms of "offensive opportunity" are reserved for the usually controlled environment of the dojo where higher belts are expected to exert sufficient control to gently teach the lower belts how to spar. Obviously AT BATS was not the first thing that came into my mind when I read the clue "offensive opportunities".

    @ Masked and Anonymo3Us, when I read your list I immediately thought of X blocks, not X BARS. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are both ARM BARS (where you arm is bent the wrong way at the elbow) and LEG BARS (where your leg is bent backwards at the knee)and if I can trust the internet WRIST BARS (which might actually be LOCKS). I admit to being confused about the difference (if there is one) between a LOCK and a BAR, but I do know that shoulders and hips are not immune from being bent the wrong way.

    PS, @ Hartley70, one of my instructors has the hottest motorcycle I have ever seen and a helmet to match. Both have a beautiful shade of green which would be perfect for a Green Hornet movie. Even though his motorcycle isn't a Harley, I still have an image in my head of you as a biker chick on that motorcycle. Before you revealed your gender I envisioned you as a male with a long white beard and a black tee-shirt with a skull and crossbones on it.

    pauer 1:17 PM  

    Since I've got gypsies on the brain today, I've been thinking my old high school friend Jeremy Davis getting the Gypsy Robe for his work in Sting's "The Last Ship": http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Coverage-Inside-THE-LAST-SHIP-Gypsy-Robe-Ceremony-20141101#

    He's come a long way since "The Sound of Music" in Grand Forks, ND!

    mac 1:19 PM  

    Brutal, but I'm happy to learn eye rhymes. It was especially difficult to get because I reasoned that people on four-hour tours were eyers......

    The rest was, indeed, medium.

    Andrew Heinegg 1:20 PM  

    Yes, if someone takes advantage of his/her looks, name or notoriety, etc. by making money on same, they are said to be trading on them.

    RnRGhost57 1:27 PM  

    @LMS, you didn't deserve it. Dude's just a churlish a-hole.

    Nigel Tufnel 1:36 PM  

    All this talk about Stonehenge and music, and not one reference to Spinal Tap? For shame.

    RMK 1:49 PM  

    Anyone who thinks a hecklephone is similar to an oboe is simply wrong.

    Although sometimes it is replaced by a bass oboe the hecklephone is more closely related to the bassoon.

    Aketi 1:49 PM  

    @ Masked and Anonymo3Us, April Parks does a terrific Arm BAR at around 3:15 in this video. She was the world champion at the blue belt level. She was so bad-ass warming up that I almost fled in fear from the first (and only so far) BJJ seminar I went to. Turns out one of my friends partnered with her and she is a really nice mom of a bunch of kids.


    Anonymous 2:01 PM  

    For all those who are interested in the pronunciation variations of four, hour, and tour, suggest you consult the work of noted sociolinguist William Labov and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania. One thing Labov is famous for identifying in the evolution of vowels in American English is the Northern Cities Shift. Enjoy!

    Hartley70 2:08 PM  

    @Aketi, bring that vision of the biker dude with the long white beard and skull and crossbones t-shirt to the front of your mind. Hold it there for a second. Erase it. Now image the polar opposite and it's ME!

    So you're a pipsqueak, Nancy's half an inch taller than you, and I'm 1/2 an inch taller than her. The three of us can make a peanut gallery. You, however, are the Minister of Defense should we decide to take over the world. Kudos on your extraordinary athletic prowess.

    @MDMA, the dialect maps are fascinating. I never imagined that merry, Mary, and marry could have identical pronunciation in most of the country. Doesn't it make for some amusing confusion?

    mathguy 2:15 PM  

    FWIW, here in San Francisco we pronounce the words as Hartley70 describes.

    Fred Romagnolo 2:18 PM  

    @Muse: Alas, my doctor forbids grapefruit with my anti-cholesterol medicine. As an English teacher, I knew EYE-RHYME. Hands up for "closes" IN ON. In San Francisco, which is, in fact, on one of the coasts, we say tour-poor & four-fore. I say dour-poor. Not all delis are "Jew"; here in North Beach they're Italian, and on 24th St., Mexican. I thought the clue for YOKE was the cleverest: "for which two heads are better than one." It would be superfluous in me to praise Patrick Berry, but, what the Hell, he's great!

    Lewis 2:28 PM  

    Factoid: STONEHENGE is at least 300 years older than the Pyramids.

    Quotoid: "Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired." -- Mae West

    Benko 2:29 PM  

    My two cents on the Debate of the Day--I've never heard a musician talk about their upcoming "tore" or going on "tore". "Tour", to me, definitely has an "oo" sound present.

    Lewis 2:31 PM  

    @andrew -- Thanks!

    Fred Romagnolo 2:31 PM  

    As to APE for oaf: marvelous line in the original King Kong: two people sitting in audience: girl, watta we goin' to see? Boy, some kinds gigantic ape; big beefy guy passes in front of them and steps on girl's toe; she replies, aint we got enough of them in New York?

    Steve O. 3:00 PM  

    I had "boat hires" for 36A for a while. But that wasn't it.

    Even after I wrote in EYE RHYMES I was like WTF is EYE RHYMES.

    (Don't worry, I get it now, read the Wikipedia entry, etc.)

    Z 3:13 PM  

    Four is the new three I say...

    @Nigel - I was getting there.
    @wreck - Thanks. I hate playing alone.
    @LMS12:20 - That I predicted that you would feel that way is evidence that you didn't deserve it. @RnRGhost57 and I both agree.
    @RMK - The clue was "lookalike," which to my, admittedly amateurish, eye is legit.

    The new three and out.

    JanetM 3:24 PM  

    I taught high school English and definitely know what an eye rhyme is and taught it, but I STILL could not get that clue. Very frustrating.

    Ludwig Wittgenstein 3:56 PM  

    You people do realize that telling people that words (for example, "tour" and "tore") are pronounced differently because they rhyme with other words (for example "poor" and "bore") that we all pronounce differently is useless, right? It's a little bit of a "beetle in a box" problem.

    Alicia Stetson 3:57 PM  

    @Z, you are SUCH a hero for coming to Loren's rescue. I'm sure, as a lady, she has no ability to defend herself.

    Gentle Joyous Gypsy 5:50 PM  

    @ Rex You ask these things. We’re called GYPSIES because we get work going from one Broadway show to another. Get it? The stars change, but a coterie of Actors Equity dancers remains in New York, auditioning for and getting work as chorus members of the various productions. Between shows (called being unemployed if we don’t make the cut, or don’t fit) we make the round of professional dance classes every night, held around the city for gypsies not currently in a show. It can be a three-hour jazz class, 7:00-10 P.M., that consists of one hour of warm-up at the barre, an hour and a half in center floor learning a new routine choreographed during the class, and then twenty minutes for three or four groups to run through the number a few times. Other classes- ballet, tap, voice, theater during the day also on the itinerary. While we wait at auditions, we read Pope and Keats.

    Raphael 5:50 PM  

    Basra is not an Arabian port. It is an Iraqi port on the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

    Raphael 5:51 PM  

    Unless Houston and Tampa are Mexican ports...

    Raphael 5:52 PM  

    Unless Houston and Tampa are Mexican ports...

    joho 6:09 PM  

    The centerpiece of this puzzle turns out to be EYERHYMES ... I wonder if Patrick had this in mind all the time? It instigated such a great conversation about the English language: love it! FWIW I pronounce four, hour and tour totally differently therefore making these words a perfect definition of EYERHYMES. I've also lived all over the place so might be a good indicator?

    joho 6:09 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Unknown 6:29 PM  

    You are correct. In my Hollywood days there was an annual benefit luncheon benefitting the Gypsies. (Done on the cheap as none of the gypsies had any money and the trade unions ignored them). All the stars appeared and performed, gratis, in well-deserved homage: Kelly, O'Connor, Charisse etc. it was great fun.

    Nancy 6:47 PM  

    If I'd known how much fun the posts were going to be today, I might not have gone to Central Park at all. Whom shall I answer first?

    @Hartley70 -- You have somehow found an extra half-inch for me that I didn't even possess 50 years ago. Don't know WHERE you found it, but I shall be eternally grateful. Every half inch counts, that's what I say!

    @Aketi -- If you run the reservoir, we must live fairly close to each other. I'd love to meet you at or near the reservoir, at a place of your choosing, any time, 11 a.m. or later. You won't get me into martial arts training (no fool I), but we both seem to have a love of exercise and the outdoors. I can wear a tennis/running cap so unique that you can't fail to recognize me. And, @Hartley 70 notwithstanding, look for someone just about exactly your height.

    @Anon 2:01 p.m. I met William Labov, way back in the day. He was the son of my late father's business partner, Ben Labov; he expounded (at my family's dinner table) on how he could place someone within 20 miles of where he grew up, based on his accent; and he's perhaps the most interesting dinner guest my parents ever hosted.

    @MDMA (12:00) -- Thanks for explaining to @foreforall that I rhyme TOUR with POOR, not with POUR. Saves me the trouble. And now -- or fairly soon -- I'm going to click on your pronunciation link, (which sounds fascinating). First, though, I'd better do something about dinner.

    (The comments today were even more fun than the puzzle.)

    Anonymous 6:47 PM  

    Geezer Rage and Humblebrag....so true

    Questinia 6:54 PM  

    @ LMS

    Could "Luna" be a good name for a moth mother?
    Is bouillon a broth brother?

    ~ that's stone-cold Kerouac.

    Anonymous 8:56 PM  

    Ok @Nancy and @ MDMA, here's the thing: I suspect nobody is left reading this, but I, and pretty much everyone I know, pronounce "poor" and "pour" exactly the same. So to use that as an explanation for the difference between "tour" and "four" is useless. Ludwig above put this nicely.

    Nancy 10:36 PM  

    @MDMA (12:04) -- Finally got a chance to read your link to maps of American dialects. Interesting and fun, and I was an absolute cliché of the typical New Yorker...until I got to the Merry, Mary, Marry example. It said that only people from NJ pronounce the 3 words differently; for everyone else, there's no difference. Well, that's just not true in NYC. EVERYONE I know pronounces all 3 words differently:
    Merry is pronounced to rhyme with very, cherry, berry, Jerry.
    Mary is pronounced to rhyme with hairy, dairy, scary.
    Marry is pronounced to rhyme with carry, tarry, Larry, Barry.
    The rest of the examples seemed right for NYC, at least. I'm not an expert on anywhere else.

    kitshef 10:38 PM  

    Same blank area as @Rex, but with HATCHES in confidently. A lot of comments about the difficulty of SOME, but for me it was the only way I got free. SOME gave me APE gave me GYPSIES, which finished off the WoE EYERHYMES. Still easy (but very enjoyable) for a Friday, as it was unduly fast work up to the freeze point.

    Very few over-writes for a Friday: GasSIES and GusSIES before GypSIES, Ass before APE, howl before TAPS, sHovEL before cHisEL.

    Rhymes: dour, tour, poor as in Dudley Moore. Four, pour as in Al Gore.

    Steve 12:12 PM  

    I get a perverse satisfaction from Rex's theater cluelessness. It makes me feel better every time he crows about baseball gimmes that I have never heard of that eventually he'll get stumped by a "Fiddler on the ____" clue.

    Amelia 12:35 PM  

    @muscato Exactly. I live in Manhattan. Gypsies was a gimme. Deli was a gimme. Vereen was a gimme. In fact, as someone else said, Patrick Berry is a constructor I relate to, on some bizarre level. I did the puzzle very quickly with no problems. Last thing I put in was the NW, but even that wasn't that hard to figure out. Definitely easy for me. Go figure.

    Anonymous 4:24 PM  

    I find for Mr. Berry I often meditate a bit. For Mr Quiqly have to run first....

    Anonymous 7:19 PM  

    I thought four hour tours were something from gilligans island, but that was a three hour tour. So maybe a four hour tour was something they give you when they are selling a house. . . an open home tour! I got it! That made the chorus girls "gopsies" well, fine, Ive never heard them called gypsies either. a good, puzzling puzzle

    Unknown 10:25 AM  

    Thank you! Now I see it.

    Steve Lewis 10:26 AM  

    Finally finished it, how many days later? What a wonderfully constructed puzzle!

    Anonymous 11:07 AM  


    ELEPHANTS fit the cross and that was that.........i really don't care how many of the down fill it screwed up = period

    i still like berry

    Burma Shave 10:56 AM  


    Well, it wasn’t BYACCIDENT, it GOTTO be more like the norm.
    She ORGANIZED a strip POKERGAME, ANTON and AARON Gere were there*
    It was all ABOUTABOY – the PLAN was she INTENDed to get BARE.

    THEHEAT wouldn’t ABATE, and NOONE’s eyes would ROME
    when the IZODs came OFFER, they’d be INSANE to go home.
    So she starts with a PENNE, but, HIHO, then she UPSTHEANTE,
    and it’s finally DONE when ANTON ZEROESINON her panty.



    rondo 11:18 AM  

    Medium? Brutal? I thought it was particularly easy, especially for a Friday. I sailed through this as though it were Monday. The only minor glitch was closESINON, which made me think for a short while I had a bad ACTOR. But that scab healed over quickly.

    Saw THEHEAT not long ago. Bullock: yeah baby, McCarthy: shoulda been Jenny.

    I’ve played ORGANIZED ball every summer since the early 1960s, still hit and throw the (now synthesized) HORSEHIDE around and get a lot of ATBATS.

    Didn’t realize how close I was to STONEHENGE in London, 2007. Went to see the first leg of the Tour de France instead. Missed opportunity there.

    Maybe the time away from work has cleared my head, I’ve GOTTO say I was INRAREFORM solving today’s puz.

    spacecraft 12:21 PM  

    DNF. Yeah, that sore spot. Couldn't pull ASS; had GOTTO okay, but could not replace any of the starting letters in EYER___ES. Thought briefly about EXERCISES; maybe somebody wrote ABOUT A BOX (?). No, boxes don't come of age. Boys do. Never, ever heard of EYERHYMES, and all those clues that give an example of a speech pattern rather than being about the words themselves tend to throw me anyway. I stared at this for quite a while; knew something was wrong...but could not reconcile it. Unlike OFL, I don't think I would ever have gotten it no matter how long I took.

    A Berry, Berry disappointing day. The rest of it was so good. Natick for some, TREVINO/VEREEN was a double-gimme for me. (Hmm, spellcheck seems to recognize Lee--but not Ben. Wonder what that says about spellcheck?) Mini-theme: UPSTHEANTE, POKERGAME.

    And no, I have never heard chorines referred to as "GYPSIES." Perhaps from Gypsy Rose Lee? Stupid. Grade: INC.

    Torb 1:07 PM  

    Got all but the SW portion. Eye rhymes? Gypsies? Had "closesinon". Dammit!

    Anonymous 1:29 PM  

    Eye Rhymes did me in but good. I had hatches and gotto but ASS and not Ape. I gave up quickly cause I just knew something was fishy and it wouldn't be worth the time or effort. It is nice learning something new, however. But I doubt I'll ever use the information or use it......ever!

    Thank you anyway, Mr. Berry. The rest was easy.

    Ron Diego La Mesa, CA Where my home is on the side of a hill and we "look down" on the people in Lemon Grove. A big LOL

    DMG 2:23 PM  

    First pass through yielded only INTEND, which gave me closeINON.. Sigh! Then I saw it was a PB which generally means even I have a chance- he somehow makes the unlikely doable. So, eventually I traded my Gulch for a GORGE, and ZEROEd in on my earlier error and ended up,with... ..a puzzle which except for GOTTO, looked like Rex's screen shot, for all the same reasons. Am I the only one who thought a four hour tour must be some special kind of attraction I'd never heard of. What are EYER H....S? Now, having read the blog, I get the visual non-rhyme idea, but after trying to decode all the ways to say them, I am left with no idea how I pronounce tour, four, and the rest of them! On to tomorrow!

    rain forest 4:31 PM  

    Except for the controversial area, this was a pretty easy, and typically smooth creation. I'm gradually coming around to the almost unanimous view that PB is a non-pareil constructor. Oh, I could quibble about bezel instead of bevel, and about who owns Basra, but I don't nit-pick, much.

    As for the pronunciation debate about four and tour, I just shake my head, but I won't say how I pronounce those words, other than to state that they don't rhyme. Period.

    A surfeit of comments today, and this is the last, so I'll get outta here.
    Nice puzzle. A nice week of puzzles actually.

    leftcoastTAM 6:36 PM  

    I was moving along pretty well until I stumbled in the NW. I almost always find Fridays and Saturdays tough. Feeling like Elmer Fudd, I thought, "I'm gonna get that wabbit if it's the last thing I ever do." Well the wabbit once again got away and made me feel like Fudd. I wouldn't know a heckelphone from a jeckelphone (remember those zany crows?), and I've never heard of Madison's weekly event either.

    cg 12:57 PM  

    When we do this in class, we call it "sight rhyme". "Eye rhyme" I had never seen before.

    Anonymous 1:01 PM  


    can you please explain these 2 comments about the "?" on the EYE RHYMES clue.

    1. that's the most obscure term in the grid and you put a "?" on it?
    2. How can I know how clever the "?" is

    are you saying there shouldn't there be a "?" on the clue?
    why is the "?" on the clue clever?


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